Treatment Gaps Among Elders With Generalized Epilepsy: Vineet Punia, MD, MS


The neurologist at Cleveland Clinic addressed aspects of care for elders with generalized epilepsy that need to be further researched.

"We don’t know what has not been explored yet. Because we are getting more older people who are coming to our clinics, we need to continue to explore more.”

Generalized epilepsy is most commonly observed in children, adolescents, and young adults, but has had relatively limited research on its effects in the elderly population with the condition, especially as the general population continues to age. Through a single-center, cohort study, researchers found that a substantial number of elderly patients with generalized epilepsy evaluated in an epilepsy monitoring unit setting had late-onset epilepsy, which differs in seizure type from the early-onset population.

Led by Vineet Punia, MD, MS, the study characterized 30 elderly individuals diagnosed with generalized epilepsy on features such as seizure onset age, management, and seizure types. Four patients had reported never been on antiseizure medications and 20 (66.6%) had refractory epilepsy.

Punia, neurologist at Cleveland Clinic, claims that this data is just another example of how clinicians still do not have a full grasp of generalized epilepsy and how it is characterized. He sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss these treatment gaps and where research needs to turn to next.

Alzahary M, Punia V. Generalized epilepsy in the elderly undergoing epilepsy monitoring unit evaluation. Presented at 2021 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 17-22. Abstract P7.080
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